The rural property market had little to cheer about over the last three months with both the volume of farms being sold and the prices achieved being significantly lower than a year ago.
Latest rural sales data from the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand (REINZ) shows 363 farms were sold in the three months to the end of January, down 13.6% from the same period a year earlier.
In the 12 months to the end of January, 1277 farms were sold. That's down 14.7% compared to the previous 12 months.
The biggest decline was in dairy farm sales which were down 40.3% in the 12 months to the end of January compared to the previous 12 months, followed by finishing farms down 28.4%, arable farms down 9.8% and grazing farms down 3.9%.
Prices were also weaker with the REINZ All Farms Price Index, which adjusts for differences in the mix of farms sold by location, type and size, down 10.5% for the three months to January compared to the same period a year earlier.
The median price per hectare decreased by 21.7% over the same period to $21,221.
Prices were even weaker for dairy farms with the REINZ Dairy Farm Price Index down 15.9% for the three months to the end of January compared to a year earlier.
The bright spot in the latest figures was lifestyle blocks, with sales up 13.6% in the three months to the end of January compared to the same period a year earlier.
Prices for lifestyle blocks were also firmer, with a median price of $725,500 in the three months to January, up 5.1% compared to a year earlier.
A summary of farm sales in the month of January 2020 is available here.
Our full suite of rural data graphs can be accessed here.